Tuesday Sep 02, 2014

Oracle HCM Cloud Set to Shine at OpenWorld 2014

By Mike Vilimek

wowAt Oracle OpenWorld 2014 all things HCM will again be a dedicated “event within an event” called HCM Central @ OpenWorld. This year’s experience promises to be even better than last year’s and we want to let you know why you should be excited and eager to attend.

[Read More]

Thursday Jul 31, 2014

Cut Yourself a Break: Get a Social Management Platform

If you’re a community manager who’s publishing, monitoring, engaging, and analyzing communities on multiple social networks manually and individually, you need a hug.  We’re sure you’re getting by just fine, because you’re a typical superstar CM that possesses multi-disciplinary skills. But at what point do you cut yourself a break and let a social management platform preserve your sanity?[Read More]

Tuesday Jul 22, 2014

Introducing Data as a Service!

Written by Carli Visser. 

It’s no surprise that businesses today are turning to data to get smarter about their customers. In many ways it has become the currency of choice for businesses looking to navigate the complexities of today’s highly fragmented and information driven economy. As a result, businesses are collecting real-time insights faster than ever while upending Moore’s Law as the number of channels grows exponentially.

And while data has become a must have for businesses of all stripes, the ability to convert this type of intelligence into competitive advantages -- filing the holes where a company’s knowledge needs to be supplemented -- still remains a cumbersome process. 

So what’s the next logical step for businesses looking to leverage the growing volume and variety of data available to them? Enter Oracle’s Data as a Service (DaaS) for Business.

At its core, DaaS for Business promises to change the way organizations think about data as a competitive advantage for their business. Through these data services, DaaS can serve as a central point to source, manage and provide data to any business user. Think of it as the Grand Central Terminal for all your data needs. Much like any other enterprise solution that is available to businesses in the marketplace, the timing and need for this type of service is long over due.

Oracle’s DaaS features a suite of offerings that can help decision makers fine tune and focus their marketing and social efforts with better insights from data. Future data offerings will be targeted at sales, talent acquisition and for solving more verticalized needs.

What do businesses stand to gain with DaaS?
  1. Data that is portable and connected….
  2. Eliminating the hurdles and speeding up data adoption…
  3. Transparent and trusted…
  4. Connected cross channel data…
  5. Scale, depth and accuracy…
  6. Unique audience insights…
  7. Easy access and action…

This is just the tip of the iceberg in what DaaS can do for your business. The collection of data is half the battle when it comes to gaining any advantage over your competitors. Putting that data into action closes that loop. After all, data at rest tends to remain at rest.

You can learn more about Oracle DaaS by reading today's press release or by viewing the launch webcast.

Monday Jul 14, 2014

Why More (Cloud Applications) Really Is Better

It doesn’t matter that I’ve done it a dozen times before. I am still amazed at how easy it is to submit a claim for out-of-network expenses through my health insurance provider. I log onto their web site, enter information from the physician’s statement, hit submit, and the money is in my bank account three days later. When my husband suggested that we switch to his health plan to save some money, I refused. I simply can’t go back to the days of printing claim forms, scanning receipts and faxing in documentation.  Like everyone else, I want speed and simplicity. With two kids, a horse, and 2 spoiled dogs to take care of, can you blame me?

Today, people expect that digital experience. For many companies, cloud applications offer a quick on-ramp to a digital way of doing business. For example, you can find highly qualified candidates faster through social recruiting. You can target messages and promotions to individual customers with cross-channel marketing. You can use a mobile device to generate a quote for your customer while you’re meeting with them.

So far, most companies rely on cloud applications to address a specific business opportunity. Eventually, though, you’ll want to integrate these cloud applications into a larger process. Let’s say you’d like to recruit sales people who have a greater likelihood of becoming high performers. You’d need to identify your current top sales performers, create a “top sales performer” profile, recruit people based on that profile, and then measure how they perform. This is no longer just about social recruiting. It involves sales, HR, talent management, and finance.

Think back to my claims processing example. I’m no health care expert, but I know that level of service requires different systems working together – including the customer portal, provider database, claims processing, benefits tracking, reimbursements and accounting. It also requires master data management, security, analytics, and integration.

At Oracle, we say we have more enterprise cloud applications than anyone else does. But what does that really mean? It means that we think business needs both speed AND standardization. You get speed and innovation by adding cloud modules to your existing on premise portfolio. When you’re ready, you also get the benefit of standardization by migrating core transaction systems to the cloud as well. Our core Fusion cloud applications for CRM, HR, ERP and SCM all share a single data model, single sign-on, business intelligence and integration framework.

So the next time you’re caught in vendor hype over the cloud (mea culpa, we’re all guilty of this), think about everything that goes into making an exceptional business experience. It’s a combination of rapid innovation AND standardization.

Friday Jun 27, 2014

Questions You Should Ask Your Cloud Provider

By Mike Vilimek

wow

The shift from complex and costly on-premise business software to flexible and more cost-effective cloud solutions is not only underway, it’s inevitable. The business advantages both in terms of cost and functionality are simple too great to ignore. Whether it’s HCM, ERP, or CX, businesses will continue to shift away from managing on-premise versions of these systems to cloud solutions. But are all cloud solutions the same?

[Read More]

Monday Apr 14, 2014

Oracle Announces Storage Cloud and Oracle Database Backup Service

Oracle announced today that the Storage Cloud Service and Database Backup Service are now generally available in the Oracle Cloud. I thought it would be worth discussing the significance of these two new services beyond what's stated in today's press release. But before I do, let me first start with the basics of each service. The Oracle Storage Cloud Service is an IaaS offering that provides a secure, scalable, and reliable object storage solution for easily storing and managing data backups and archives in the cloud. The Oracle Database Backup Service is a PaaS offering that provides a simple, low-cost, and secure cloud-based backup and restore solution for on-premise Oracle Databases.

The launch of the Storage Cloud is significant as it marks the first time the Oracle Cloud, or any public cloud for that matter, offers services in every key layer of the cloud technology stack: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. With Oracle Cloud, you're not forced to build and maintain integrations between multiple public clouds in order to meet the growing needs of your business. While storage itself has become more of a commodity over the years, the importance of security and reliability of storage housing critical business data can never be overstated. The Storage Cloud has features you'd expect from an enterprise-class storage solution like built-in redundancy, access via RESTful web services or Java libraries, and capacity on-demand. That's not to say that other clouds that offer storage services can't or don't offer similar capabilities, but now you have the choice of storing your data in the same cloud that you can depend on to run all of your critical business applications. Wouldn't it be nice to have a single cloud and single cloud service provider to work with for all of your business application and data needs?

Every business performs backups of their critical databases to reduce the risk of data loss. The Database Backup Service provides a simple, low-cost solution that can become part of a multi-tiered database backup and  restore strategy.  From my experience, most IT organizations perform RMAN backups of Oracle Databases to local disk, and usually to the Fast Recovery Area.  However, when it comes to Tier 2 backups, most perform RMAN backups to remote disk. Then for those who are storing data that is infrequently accessed, Tier 3 backups are stored to tape and archived. Now with the Database Backup Service, you can avoid the data center cost and resource requirements associated with buying and deploying additional disk and tape backup systems by moving your Tier 2 or Tier 3 backup and restore solutions to the cloud. One of the advantages not mentioned in the press release is that the Database Backup Service actually stores database backups to the Storage Cloud, which means that all of the security and reliability of triple-mirroring for redundancy and data isolation apply to the Database Backup Service as well.

I hope you take the time to review the details of these two latest additions to the Oracle Cloud service portfolio. If you think you could benefit from either of these new services, sign up for a 30 day free trial and take them for a test drive.

Friday Apr 11, 2014

When is “Big Data” in HR Just Analytics?

By Mike Vilimek

wow

If you follow HR technology even a little, you have heard something about big data. In terms of popularity, it’s right up there with other key trends like social, mobile, and the cloud. And while definitions for many of these are not set in stone, big data is by far the most undefined and misunderstood trend of the bunch. 

[Read More]

Tuesday Apr 08, 2014

Checklist for Sales and Sales Operations Leaders

You’re running a sales or sales operations team. You get invited to a number of events—or are spending time out of the office with customers. That’s your job.

Another invitation comes along. You quickly scan it, thinking “what’s in this for me?

The Checklist

  • New Ideas: Do you look outside your company, to industry thought leaders and your sales peers for new ideas?
  • Career Planning: Is it important to look ahead—for your business and your career—to understand where Selling is headed and how it’s changing your job?
  • Translating Plans to Action: Is there something you could learn from your peers—running Sales organizations like yours—about doing things faster, closing more big-ticket deals?
[Read More]

Friday Mar 07, 2014

Oracle’s Day in the Cloud in Melbourne

written by: Rushenka Perrera

Oracle CloudWorld in Melbourne took place on a steamy 32 degree day at the Grand Hyatt. The event kicked off with registration at 8am and the plenary at 8.45am. With 600 attendees, it was even bigger than the event we ran in Sydney almost a year ago.
The event featured six tracks focusing on sales/marketing; finance and operations; customer service; developers; IT innovation and HR. This CloudWorld had large numbers of attendees from all different lines of business as every effort had been made to make sure the agendas for each track were compelling enough to appeal to the specific needs of these busy individuals.
The plenary sessions were packed to the rafters. Tim Ebbeck, Managing Director for ANZ kicked off the proceedings and introduced Jeff Henley, Oracle’s Chairman who had the audience captivated with his presentation on Moving at the Speed of Opportunity. Jeff was followed by Reggie Bradford, SVP, Product Development, Oracle, Former Founder & CEO of Vitrue who presented the power of the Oracle cloud.


The plenary sessions ended with a panel titled ‘Transform Your Business’. The participants came from diverse backgrounds but provided highly engaging banter to challenge the perceptions of the audience and to introduce them to new ways of thinking. The panel lineup included a stellar cast:
Iain Clarke, Chief Technology Officer, Cloud Services, Capgemini Australia
Brandon Byrne, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Curse
Dr David Rock, Author and Director, NeuroLeadership Institute
Matthew Holst, Director of Demand Centre & CRM APAC, Dell
Anthony Micomonaco, Manager Knowledge Management, Product & Markets, National Australia Bank
The different track speakers also included some heavyweights including:
•    Hugh Macfarlane, Founder & CEO of MathMarketing | Author of "The Leaky Funnel" talking about integrated sales and marketing.
•    Dr Catriona Wallace, Customer Experience Futurist and Chief Executive on designing a high performance customer experience organisation for the future.
•    Dr David Rock, Author and Director, NeuroLeadership Institute on the neuroscience of developing leaders.
•    Brandon Byrne, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Curse talking about why Curse chose Oracle Cloud over the competition.
•    Iain Clarke, Director – Chief Technology Officer - Cloud Services, CapGemini and NRMA on how to drive end to end innovation around cloud adoption.
•    Matthew Holst,Director of Demand Centre & CRM APAC, Dell discussing Dell’s marketing journey using Eloqua.
•    Nigel Prior, National Customer Experience Practice Manager, NEC Australia talking about their customer experience strategy.
•    Robert Hillard, Managing Partner Technology Agenda, Deloitte on what the tech trends will be for 2014.


The day ended with Reggie Bradford summing up on customer expectations in the age of the modern customer experience and finally with Lauren Anderson, Chief Knowledge Officer at Collaborative Lab, really challenging the audience and wowing them with stories of new cloud innovation in her presentation on  a new world of consumer behaviours.

Friday Feb 21, 2014

You Are Not Even Wrong About the Cloud - Part 2

In the first part of this blog series, I described the orthogonal nature of costs and benefits with regard to Cloud computing. The mismatch between the forces that incur costs and rack up benefits has led to a general misunderstanding of this technology area. The first area for examination of this mismatch are the different audiences investigating Cloud computing.

The past couple of years have really reminded me of the early 90s, with Cloud taking the place of graphical user interfaces (GUIs). I distinctly remember being at the launch of Window 3.0, the first real GUI from Microsoft, the dominant client operating system. There were a bunch of crotchety old IT guys (who were probably younger than I am now) complaining about how they “weren’t going to buy 286s to run Windows”. And they were probably right. They didn’t buy 286s that year – they bought 486s in two years.

Because the wave of GUIs was an unstoppable tsunami. The client side of the environment went from green-screen/command-line to GUI in just a couple of years, whether IT liked it or not. The reason was simple: it was easier.

[Read More]

Friday Feb 14, 2014

You Are Not Even Wrong About the Cloud - Part 1

Many years ago, I read an article in The New Yorker about a math expert who was working as one of the early quants on Wall Street. One phrase from that article has become a part of my vocabulary – “You are not even wrong”. By this, the mathematician meant that the person was so far off base on a topic as to not even qualify as being wrong – it’s like they had left the universe of correct and incorrect on a certain topic.

I have used it over the years as a sarcastic description of some opinion I felt was on the far side of clueless. But, in reality, the description is not just an ultimate putdown of sorts. This phrase can apply to any ideas which don’t really apply to a particular scenario. The person expressing the opinion is not necessarily unintelligent, or even uninformed. They are just playing on the wrong field.

I’ve been product manager for the Oracle Database Cloud for the past 3 years, and I find that this situation is wildly common when people talk about Cloud computing. Seemingly everyone is excited about the possibilities of the Cloud, but the overwhelming majority of people are looking at this technology area from an inappropriate viewpoint.

Put simply, most believe the Cloud is magic. And we all know there is no magic technology – even a great advance like Exadata is a result of a bunch of good decisions implemented well.

The problem lies in something I refer to as the orthogonal nature of costs and benefits. When two terms are orthogonal, there is no statistical relationship between them. In the same way, there are important facets of Cloud computing where the costs and benefits stem from different places – places which are rarely united in a single world view.

This blog is the first of five parts. In the next three parts (with the first of these three parts here), I will discuss three prominent areas of orthogonal costs and benefits, which will help you to understand how to properly evaluate the what, when and hows of Cloud computing for your particular organization. The final part will be a general prescription on how to move to the Cloud to maximize benefits and minimize both problems and disappointments.

Friday Jan 24, 2014

4 Core Steps To Support Conversion Along Your Audience’s Journey

How do you facilitate more integrated demand generation campaigns? By delivering more rich information discovery and exchange on the channels where your audiences are interacting. Cultivate a role in the discussion, and optimize your activity mix to understand what’s effective, and how you can influence the engagement process in a meaningful way to your prospects and customers. To help you think outside your traditional marketing box,  here are 4 “building benefits” — or a phased approach — to optimize conversion rates throughout the funnel with marketing technology . [Read More]

Friday Jan 17, 2014

How Mobile & Social Increase the Value of HR Technology

By Mike Vilimek

wow

A key finding from CedarCrestone’s 2013 – 2014 HR Systems Survey was that improving the user experience is an important way to improve user adoption. It makes sense really. If a system provides an easy, modern, and engaging user experience, chances are more people will use it. Contrary, if a system provides a frustrating, complex and outdated user experience, people will simply avoid using it.


[Read More]

Friday Dec 13, 2013

6 Tips to Fuel Customer-Focused Marketing

written by: Amanda Batista

In the modern marketplace, no longer can customer and prospect engagements be relegated to generic, templated messaging. Because technology has, and continues to, evolve at a rapid pace, consumers are kept connected, informed, and empowered to make smarter decisions to support their goals. The Amazon.com “You Might Also Like Approach” consumers have become accustomed to as consumers has translated to our professional roles, and they expect relevant and compelling offers and communications from the brands they engage with.

Organizations also need to meet more demands for programs, such as digital marketing and social media — with fewer resources — but the lack of access to customer information can make it difficult to create and deliver compelling campaigns. While this has challenged organizations to rethink their engagement strategies to refine the alignment of marketing and sales communications, the digitally fueled ecosystem also presents unique and exciting opportunities for marketers and sales people to interact with consumers across more channels, enhancing the ability to garner important behavioral data to build out detailed profiles.

Moreover, organizations are challenged to take a metrics-based approach to better serve these more informed consumers. To deliver on the promise of relevant and value, marketing and sales teams must be aligned in their strategic measurements and engagement communications.

Cloud technology facilitates greater access to customer information, enabling you to have greater top-line revenue and return on your company's marketing investment. A modern marketing approach — with the right mix of process technology (science) and creative content (art) — can transform your business.

To help you think outside your traditional marketing box here are 3 “building benefits” — or a phased approach — to integrating marketing communications in the cloud:

1. Understand your buyer with a universal customer profile- The proliferation of engagement channels has ushered in a massive outpour of valuable data that organizations can use to expand their prospect and customer profiles. For example, marketers can include activities relevant to digital assets, and track customer activity through earned, owned, and paid media during the engagement process.

2. Align organizational business practices- Organizations that have done the hard work to agree on definitions must collaborate to set shared goals for their sales and marketing teams. To make this process easier and more transparent, they need a shared set of metrics to define the Sales/Marketing pipeline – and form “one view of the truth." This shared sales and marketing dashboard can be a “holy grail” because it allows organizations to understand the velocity and shape of the sales pipeline and make real-time adjustments if they see an opportunity or issue. In addition to optimized efficiency and more seamless execution, a key benefit of alignment is that the end user experience is optimized as a result of that united front.

3. Demonstrate value to your audience- With the buyer in the driver seat, marketers have to find a way to comfortably ride shotgun rather than being left in the backseat, or worse, not have the opportunity to ride along at all. To optimize customer acquisition and retention, marketers must continually demonstrate value and commitment to their customers. With the proper understanding of how today’s digital marketing technology enables you to know your buyer (and appropriately action the right marketing engagement).

4. Improve campaign results by leveraging digital body language and real-time data

Tracking marketing effectiveness helps marketing departments determine whether their campaigns have been successful in compelling prospects to take a desired action. Marketers can then fine-tune their strategies in the midst of a campaign while keeping executive management posted on how Marketing is helping to fill the sales pipeline.

Rethinking how to modernize your marketing technology tactics? Join us at Oracle CloudWorld for best practice insight, Jan. 29 in San Francisco.

Friday Nov 22, 2013

The World’s Gone Mobile. What Does that Mean for HR?

 written by: Stephanie Lepow

Today’s employees are accustomed to a new consumer-driven culture where they have a voice, are connected and can get things done when and where they want. Everywhere you look, people are tapping away on smartphones and tablets. And it’s not just about texting friends or posting Facebook status updates. Consumers today shop in their pajamas, and in the airport terminal and on their way to work. They pay bills while standing in line at the grocery store. They answer emails while waiting for their latte. Mobile technology—both the accessibility and the attention paid to delivering a simple and user-centric experience—has changed the way we communicate. This has spilled over into the workplace. In the 2013 Avanade “Work Redesigned” study of 600 executives, business leaders and IT leaders worldwide, 61% of companies report that most employees use personal computing devices at work. While most are still using phones and tablets for basic tasks such as reading email and managing their calendars, more than a third of companies say employees use the devices for advanced tasks such as customer relationship management (CRM), project management, content creation, and data analysis. The 2013-2014 CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey echoes this trend, noting that mobile-enabled process adoption grew 67% since 2012 with the most use in payroll, recruiting and performance management. CedarCrestone predicts that mobile-enabled processes will almost double by 2014.

Modern HR leaders are tapping into this trend, enabling their employees to access HR applications on their smartphones and tablets for everything from basic self-service tasks that used to require assistance from HR—such as updating personal data or reviewing benefits—to more complex tasks such as analyzing headcount reports and reviewing employee performance data.

As this video from Newfield Exploration shows, mobile applications can also play a huge role in keeping managers and employees aligned on objectives and performance goals, providing staff with real-time access to critical information, and connecting colleagues when they are spread out among offices.

Watch the video:

http://player.vimeo.com/video/74857035

Learn more about the role mobile can play in delivering an engaging and productive employee experience to your modern workforce. Join us at Oracle CloudWorld events happening worldwide, from now through April. At these free, day-long events, you’ll hear insightful keynotes and real-world case studies, have the opportunity to participate in hands-on demos, and get the chance to engage in honest dialogue with your peers. There’s an entire track devoted to modern HR so you won’t want to miss it.

See event locations and register now: http://www.oracle.com/events/global/en/cloudworld/index.html

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